Our Zelda Publications page has been updated with all the Zelda related Nintendo Power features found within the 1997 issues of the magazine. Ocarina of Time was still labeled as Zelda64 during this period and it was featured a number of times throughout the year. However, early in the year, it was said that the game was going to be released by the end of 1997. As time went by, that end of the year and Fall 1997 release dates got pushed back to Winter 1997. Then in the following months, that got pushed back to Spring 1998 for North America. In October of 1997, the game was still hoping for a 1997 release in Japan. Even as late as the December 1997 issue, the game was still slated for a Spring 1998 release. Obviously none of this came to fruition and while the game was delayed a number of times in 1997, the following year would prove to have just as many release delays.
Despite the numerous delays, the game was hyped up so much, constantly being featured throughout the year. This started right from the beginning of the year in the January 1997 issue. Recapping the Space World 1996 event, Zelda64 was said to have been 50% completed and was scheduled for release by the end of 1997. A handful of screenshots were shown, as well as several paragraphs of text, talking about Link’s newest adventure. The hype continued with mentions in the February and March issues, before being put on the back burner for a few months. After several mentions in the summer months, Zelda64 got a two-page feature in the October 1997 issue with new screenshots and some storyline tidbits. A huge blowout occurred in the December 1997 issue where 100 screenshots of the game were displayed over a span of an 8-page feature. All of these Zelda64 goodies are conveniently listed below for your viewing pleasure.
Even with all the Zelda64 hype, there was still lingering content for the Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. In the February 1997 it was confirmed that Link’s Awakening was going to get a re-released due to high-demand. In addition to the re-release, the Super Gameboy was also released, which allowed Gameboy games to be played on the Super Nintendo with different color palettes. In the March 1997 issue Link’s Awakening was given an 8-page feature, including a quick guide through many parts of the game. In the June 1997 issue, Link’s Awakening was featured in the Classified Information section, offering some secrets that had previously been featured in older issues of Nintendo Power. The game was such a hit, that even after 4 years of being released and after re-releases, it was still one of the hottest games on the Game Boy. All of the Link’s Awakening material can be seen in links below.
That wasn’t quite it for Zelda in 1997. The year also marked the 100th ever issue of Nintendo Power magazine and they celebrated with quite a bit of goodies. Obviously, with such a celebration, tons of Zelda related material was featured. In the special September 1997 issue, Zelda dominates the all-time Top 30 Power Chart, has two codes in the Top 100 codes of all time, and all four Zelda titles make it in the Nintendo Power Top 100 of all time. Adventure of Link was at #36 on the list, Link’s Awakening is at #12, Legend of Zelda is at #11, and A Link to the Past is at #2, only behind Super Mario 64 which took the #1 spot.
A quick look at all the Zelda related features published in 1997 can be found below. Be sure to take a look at the Zelda Publications page for a full list of all the magazine issues in 1997 and prior years.
~~Zelda64 (Ocarina of Time)~~
Issue #092 – January 1997
Issue #093 – February 1997
Issue #094 – March 1997
Issue #097 – June 1997
Issue #098 – July 1997
Issue #100 – September 1997
Issue #101 – October 1997
Issue #103 – December 1997
~~Other Zelda Goodies~~
Issue #094 – March 1997: BS Zelda
Issue #100 – September 1997: Nintendo Power 100th Issue